The cycle lane to success
So he did it. Paris-Nice, one of the most prestigious and historic stage races in the calendar. Steeped in history and soaked in atmosphere, Paris-Nice remains amongst the top table of vintage races – and Mr Wiggins cycled off with the silverware.
The last Brit to win Paris-Nice was the late great Tommy Simpson back in 1967, Wiggins’ hero. A flawed personality that both inspires Wiggins and – I suspect – touches a chord. Its taken 45 years to bring the yellow jersey back to Blighty. In Simpson’s day the jersey was white, but Mr Wiggins will hope that the colour is a portent, the shape of the summer to come.
Will he win the big one, the Grand-daddy of them all? Olympic year may yet unsettle race plans or cement them, but at the end of July we’ll be crossing our fingers that there’s another yellow jersey in Wiggins’ bulging trophy cabinet; that of Tour De France winner. With Cavendish world champ, Hoy hunting down more medals, a plethora of young riders building their careers and team SKY looking fiendishly good, these are golden days indeed for British Cycling.
Cycling is fast becoming our most successful sporting discipline. I wonder if all this success will rub off on our decision makers and urban planners? With a little will and a lot of way, we might just set the next generation of medal winners on the cycle lane to success (and school). Cycle priorities should start with the young.